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AWise: Road To Nowhere [MSC]
By Eric Ellis

3/1/2002 2:27 am Thu

[Paper Lama dan Paper Baru.... Projek Wawasan yang dilancarkan dengan penuh gegak hempita itu kini akhirnya kecundang. - Editor]

Road To Nowhere

By Eric Ellis, AsiaWise
19 Sep 2000

Two interesting things in technology happened in April 1996.

The first was Malaysia's Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir Mohamed lauding Malaysia's planned Multimedia Super Corridor to Silicon Valley tycoons in San Francisco.

The second was the debut on the Nasdaq stockmarket of Internet portal Yahoo!

Four years later, Yahoo's market capitalization of $60 billion is not far short of the size of the entire Malaysian economy. And building has barely begun on the MSC.

If Dr. Mahathir is even half the visionary his compliant media would have Malaysians believe, then that crystal ball of his sorely needs polishing. While America was creating massive wealth minting the New Economy that Mahathir claims to have seen coming, Dr. M was consumed with what his former deputy Anwar Ibrahim was, or was not, doing in his private time, and what that meant to his tenure in office.

A recent visit to the MSC site, "Cyberjaya", south of Kuala Lumpur bears stark testimony to Malaysia's missed opportunity. The MSC mandarins in the Prime Minister's Department claim to have secured investments from 362 companies to Cyberjaya. But it's not immediately evident. Indeed as a real-life information superhighway, the MSC makes a great building site. You're more likely to find a stray buffalo, or a bemused family of monkeys wandering the complicated and unfinished road system than an Internet node or a server farm. Mobile phones have poor reception and Internet speeds are apparently slow, according to those who have surfed out there.

If there's a wealth of new technological applications being developed in the mud, it escaped this correspondent. I saw a modest new "university" but few students, and a hotel called "Cyberview Lodge".

But don't take my word for it. Take the actions of the world's richest man, Microsoft founder Bill Gates. He's on the MSC's International Advisory Panel -- which purportedly gathers the world's top technology brains and has them think about ways to turn Malaysia into an Asian Silicon Valley. Frequent world traveler though he is, and busy businessman no doubt, Gates has missed each annual meeting of the panel since its formation, even though he's been to Malaysia three times. Gates was in Cyberjaya last week and was at least diplomatic to his hosts. After dissing Australia as "Old Economy," he flew to KL to pronounce that "technologically, Malaysia is actually quite a bit ahead of many countries that are more larger and more economically developed."

And that's part of Malaysia's problem. People like Gates, who should know better, are too busy tripping over themselves not to offend countries like Malaysia when the tough love approach would do them more favors than corporate sycophancy.

But there's two other big problems hindering Malaysia's take-up of high-tech: money and liquidity. For evidence, click on to the "daily diary" button at, the home page of the grandly named Malaysian Exchange of Securities Dealing and Automated Quotation, Malaysia?s apparent answer to the Nasdaq.

You won't see much exchanging going on. This is the Mesdaq market wrap on any given day; "Supercomal Technologies Berhad (Supercomal) and Intelligent Edge (IE) closed unchanged today in the absence of trading activity. The closing price of Supercomal remained at RM3.00 ($0.79). While IE remained the closing at RM1.35 (sic). No contracts were traded today."

But by Mesdaq standards, it has been a boom month. When software solutions group Intelligent Edge Technologies debuted last month, the exchange doubled the number of listings on the exchange.

Too bad they don't trade. A Palm Pilot costs more than the daily volume of shares changing hands on the Mesdaq.

Supercomal Technologies has been listed for 18 months, and Yahoo! it ain't. Shares in the cable maker are up by 5% since it listed. Maybe that helps explain why tech-savvy young Malaysians are seeking inspiration and outlets in more established centers like Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia and North America.

Four years after its official launch, the MSC is going nowhere. Two years after its debut, the Mesdaq is heading to the same place. Malaysia is the country that threw a high-tech party and nobody came. The crystal ball of Dr M. needs more than a polish. It needs replacement.

December 31 , 2001 21:40PM

MESDAQ Akan Sertai Kumplan BSKL

KUALA LUMPUR, 31 Dis (Bernama) -- Bursa Saham Kuala Lumpur (BSKL) dan Malaysian Exchange of Securities Dealing & Automated Quotation Bhd (MESDAQ) telah menyelesaikan pemeteraian perjanjian bagi MESDAQ untuk menyertai Kumpulan BSKL.

Di dalam satu kenyataan hari ini BSKL berkata penggabungan bursa-bursa itu menjadi sebuah bursa Malaysia tunggal seperti disyorkan di dalam Pelan Induk Pasaran Mpdal (CMP) akan bergerak lebih dekat kepada penghasilan.

Pengerusi eksekutif BSKL Datuk Mohd Azlan Hashim, berkata penyatuan menjadi bursa Malaysia tunggal itu akan mempercepatkan faedah-faedah bukan sahaja kepada BSKL dan MESDAQ, tetapi akan memberi manfaat kepada peserta-peserta industri dan pasaran modal Malaysia.

"Penyatuan, sebagai satu inisiatif strategik akan menyelaraskan fungsi-fungsi kawal seliaan dan juga pembangunan pasaran BSKL dan MESDAQ, dengan matlamat menawarkan para pelabur, penerbit perantara-perantara pasaran dan peserta-peserta pasaran rangkaian produk-produk dan perkhidmatan yang lebih luas di dalam cara yang paling selesa, cekap dan berkesan kos.

"Ini adalah penting bagi memenuhi permintaan pelbagai profil pelabur dan keperluan-keperluan pengumpulan modal yang kompetitif," katanya pada upacara menanda tangani itu.

Presiden MESDAQ, Abdullah Abdul Hamid berkata penggabungan dengan BSKL akan membolehkan para pelabur memperolehi laluan lebih baik kepada sekuriti-sekuriti MESDAQ disenaraikan malalui rangkaian syarikat-syarikat anggota pembrokeran saham BSKL yang lebih luas.

"Peranan MESDAQ sebagai pasaran terpilih bagi syarikat-syarikat pertumbuhan tinggi dan berasaskan teknologi untuk mengumpul dana akan dipertingkatkan dengan lebih tinggi, di pasaran tempatan dan antarabangsa," tambahnya.

BSKL dan MESDAQ pertama kali menanda tangani memorandum persefahaman (MoU) pada 27 Jun 2001 bagi mempermudah perbincangan mengenai cara-cara terbaik untuk menyatukan MESDAQ ke dalam Kumpulan BSKL.

MoU itu menentukan persetujuan bagi kedua-dua pihak untuk memasuki perundiangan lebih terperinci bagi mencari penyatuan.

Sebuah jawatankuasa kerja diketuai oleh Suruhanjaya Sekuriti dan mengandungi wakil-wakil daripada BSKL dan MESDAQ dibentuk bagi memastikan bahawa urusan itu adalah sejajar dengan syor-syor CMP untuk menubuhkan sebuah bursa Malaysia tunggal melalui penyatuan kesemua bursa sedia ada menjelang 2002.

Pengerusi Suruhanjaya Sekuriti, Datuk Ali Abdul Kadir berkata penyatuan itu telah meluaskan keupayaan pembangunan pasaran bagi kedua-dua bursa itu dan adalah satu langkah penting ke arah pewujudan sebuah bursa Malaysia tunggal seperti ditetapkan di dalam CMP.

"Berikutan penyatuan ini, Suruhanjaya Sekuriti amat mengharapkan kedua-dua BSKL dan MESDAQ memastikan pasaran bagi pertumbuhan tinggi dan syarikat-syarikat berasaskan teknologi bukan sahaja dikekalkan, tetapi dimajukan sepenuhnya.

"Ini akan menyumbang untuk menjadikan pasaran modal negara lebih kompetitif dan lebih menarik," katanya.

Penyatuan antara BSKL dan MESDAQ adalah tertakluk kepada kelulusan daripada anggota-anggota BSKL, Jawatankuasa Pelaburan Asing dan Suruhanjaya Sekuriti.

Sehingga penyatuan itu diselesaikan dan dilaksanakan, kedua-dua bursa akan terus beroperasi seperti biasa, dengan MESDAQ terus menerima permohonan penyenaraian.